Pension for women should go up: NCW

National Commission for Women is recommending an increase in social security pensions, its chairperson Mamta Sharma said.

“Only widows are not single women as even unmarried women need some benefits. We need to bring about a shift in people’s thinking. There need to be provisions given to children raised by single women,” said Sharma.

Barely enough

There is an urgent need to increase the pension amount for widows as Rs 500 as pension is barely enough. It should be increased to Rs 1,500 to Rs 2,000,” she said at a gathering of women at a consultation on single women rights.

The pension amount in most of the states vary between Rs 200 to Rs 1,000.

Intolerable cruelties towards women in Jharkhand, Rajasthan and West Bengal in the name of “witch-calling” should not be encouraged.

Women should also be provided skill-based training to ensure that women become independent, she added.

“Women’s nose, ears, hands are cut and they are physically tortured under the dayan pratha (branding women as witches). We need to join hands to end this,” added Sharma.

The event organised by National Forum for Single Women’s Rights was attended by more than 80 single women leaders from across Rajasthan, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Himachal Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra and Punjab.

Dr Mohini Giri, senior social activist, writer, scholar and former NCW chairperson said single women should also claim community lands and form farming cooperatives to lead better lives.

“Of 40 crore widows in the country, only a crore are getting pensions. In Kashmir, there are 25,000 women who have become widows because of terrorism and remain unaware of their husbands’ real names,” said Giri.

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